Wednesday, September 9, 2015

T.O.M.B. Raiding

Way back in the day, a group of action figure collectors started a group called T.O.M.B. Raiders. Obviously named after the wildly popular game, T.O.M.B. was also an acronym for Take Out (of) Mint Boxes. The point was that when you buy a figure (or any other toy) you should remove it from the box and play with it, display it or basically just enjoy it rather than leave it boxed and stashed away as a collectible. I like the idea and have certainly done my fair share of it over the years (usually with the stuff that ended up being "valuable" later on) but I still have a lot of figures in unopened boxes. Recently, I have opened a few older figures to provide material for future blog entries but I'm starting to wonder if I should just go for broke and open them all.

Here's the deal…. I'm not getting any younger and I've been in this hobby for close to 20 years. I'm not taking anything with me when I check out and I kind of doubt that most of this stuff will be of any real value in decades to come. I could sell a lot of the unopened stuff on eBay or offer it up at the few forums I still involve myself with. I could probably make a modest amount of money, which is certainly attractive at the moment. With my wife and I both looking for work, a few hundred dollars in hand is better than no money and bunch of old toys wasting away in storage somewhere. But maybe I should just open everything up, toss out the boxes and go from there. If my kids want any of it when they're older, so be it. Although I'm reluctant to suggest another regular feature here, maybe unboxing old figures and doing something with them could become a regular feature here. Or not….

I'm going to think this over for a while but I would love to hear from my readers. What would you do in my situation? Perhaps like the Year of Frugal Hobbying I've mentioned before, my motto should be "use it, sell it or trade it" with an eye towards minimal, really NO expenditure for the foreseeable future. I don't know yet but I think I would like to do things differently than I have been and maybe this is how I should proceed.


  1. Oh, they have a group dedicated to unboxing figures, sounds interesting!

    I'm always struggling with this question myself. I really like the way figures look in their boxes and usually the boxes are very cool too. If you take the figure out of the box, it feels kind of stupid to just keep the empty box around but if the box looks nice, I can't bring myself to toss it. x'D *first world problems to the max*
    I'm also trying to fool myself to believe that my collection could have some value... but I'm not sure if it's just me trying to make myself feel better for buying expensive toys.

    I've started to think that it's better to take the figures out of their boxes. No matter how neat they look in the boxes, I've noticed that I get more enjoyment out of them if I get to display them correctly and "play" with them a little from time to time. Yet a new symptom of this "it will be valuable if it's MIB"-disease has risen its head: I've started to buy duplicates of some of the figures of characters I love most. I've gotten pretty nasty comments about it and even I myself think this is starting to get a little out of hand but... Well, fortunately I've gotten multiples of just the Nitro+Chiral figures so that isn't so bad... is it? :D

    I'm also thinking that if things get really bad financially*knocks on wood*, I would sell my dolls. Or at least choose a couple of the most valuable ones and sell them. I have some Soom dolls that maybe have some value.... if the BJD hobby is still going strong if such a time comes. I'm sometimes toying with the idea of putting some of my dolls on sale just to see if someone is willing to pay something for them. Seems like the recession has gotten to the doll hobby as well, since dolls don't seem to sell that quickly - at least not on our Finnish forum. I remember a time there were hardly any interesting dolls for sale and if one popped up it was sold in a nick of time.

    I have a friend who has started to downsize their collection because they need the money and are thinking they might have to move to a smaller apartment where they can't take as much stuff as their place holds now. I really don't know what to say to them or think about this, it is making me feel sad and worried. This is a friend who I talked about the joys of collecting just a little while ago... I feel like maybe I should start preparing for the worst too in this economical situation we are having but instead I am just buying more stuff. It's just not that easy to give up on collecting. *sigh*

    1. I opened some boxed figures either for projects or because my kids asked for them. I have a feeling that most of my collection doesn't really have a great deal of resale value and the few things that do are things I'd rather not get rid of. Collecting is difficult to give up and I see plenty of things I'd like to have. However, there's both a money issue and a kind of "hobby malaise" that have been problems for me in the past few months. I just can't focus on it and it doesn't really make me happy right now.

      I'm trying to decide how to proceed with my hobbies and this blog after the first of next year. Downsizing the stash-o-stuff is a definite possibility but it's been difficult for me to do as of yet. I have a few things for sale at a local consignment sale, so I'll see how that goes.

    2. Oh, I meant to add that there WAS a group dedicated to unboxing stuff but it was many years ago. I remember seeing their homepage back in the Web 1.0 days but it wasn't active by the early 2000s, so I don't know if they still exist in any formal capacity.